The International Association of Machinists and the Aerospace Industries Association sent a letter to President Obama Sept. 1 urging him to preserve the aerospace and defense industry and its high-skilled workforce.
“As you finalize proposals to save and create American jobs, we urge you to consider the vital role that our second to none aerospace and defense industry has played in America’s global leadership, and to keep in mind the many thousands of aerospace and defense workers that face the loss of their jobs in these difficult economic times,” the letter urged.
Francis X. ‘Chip’ Sheller has joined AIA as Vice President of Communications, bringing more than 20 years of experience in the field to the position.
Sheller was previously Vice President for Communications and Government Relations with Thales USA, Inc., in Arlington, Va., beginning in 2006. In this capacity he supported a range of U.S. and overseas businesses for Thales, an $18 billion aerospace and defense company.
Prior to joining Thales, Sheller represented clients including Lockheed Martin Corporation, L-3 and the Nuclear Energy Institute as Senior Vice President at Hill &
AIA has named Richard Efford as its new Assistant Vice President for Legislative Affairs. Efford brings decades of experience working for congressional committees and government relations firms to this position.
For more than twenty years, Efford served as a professional staffer on the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee. He led committee staff in crafting appropriations legislation for the Transportation Department and was personally responsible for Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Coast Guard and Transportation Security Administration appropriations. He also oversaw elements of the Navy budget, including aircraft procurement, RDT&E and DARPA.
Ongoing and emerging security threats, aging civil and space infrastructure, fiscal challenges and keeping and creating jobs all present our nation with enormous challenges. This year’s National Aerospace Week, an event established by Congress, will focus on informing the debate over choices our government will make in the coming months.
The aerospace and defense industry is the lifeblood of America’s industrial base, employing approximately 800,000 workers directly, and supporting more than 2 million middle-class jobs in related fields. More than 30,000 suppliers in the industry provide high-skill, high-paying jobs in all 50 states.
When Secretary Panetta visited troops in Afghanistan and Iraq last month, press reports heralded his "rough and tumble" rhetoric and "salty" exchanges with the troops. But beneath these lighthearted personal moments lies a serious truth: short of the president, no one bears greater responsibility for the safety and well being of our military volunteers than the secretary of defense. In a time of expanding missions, shrinking budgets, and the prospect of hundreds of billions of "Super Committee" cuts waiting in the wings, those responsibilities must lie heavy on the secretary's brow.